Electrical chairs, crossbow hunting in Central Park and falling in love with the moon were just some of the antics that were front and center in “The Addams Family,” the Shelter Island School Drama Club’s spring musical presented at the school April 4 to 7.
Students in 8th through 12th grade presented the musical under the direction of John and Anu Kaasik who have coached these performances for over a dozen years.
The play is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and and a story by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice that premiered on Broadway in April 2010. Although it is a contemporary script, “The Addams Family” musical is based on The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams in his single-panel cartoons that showed a ghoulish American family with a passion for all things macabre. Although numerous film and television adaptations of Addams’ cartoons have been made, the musical is the first stage show based on the characters.
The plot has Wednesday Addams’ (Francis Regan) boyfriend, Lucas Beineke (David Neese) and his parents Alice (Lyng Coyne) and Mal (Devon Bolton and Zebulan Mundy) being introduced to her parents Morticia (Amelia Clark) and Gomez Addams (Owen Gibbs).
But it’s not an average first meeting. The young couple plan to announce their engagement after dinner — if all goes well. The scenes unfold with spooky and downright hilarious shenanigans as the two very different families break bread — and boundaries – together.
Pugsley Addams (Nicholas Labrozzi) fears he’ll lose his sister and her delightful torture methods before nabbing a truth serum from Grandma Addams (Jennifer Lupo) that he gives to the wrong person at dinner.
The cast sang their way through 21 songs with solos, duets and group songs under the direction of Musical Directors Deanna Locascio and Keith Brace and danced through both acts while exploring the challenges of marriage, love and family. Laughter was a constant for the crowd, inspired by modern-day jokes such as Lurch (Michael Payano) constantly being told to “hurry” and Uncle Fester (Taylor Tybaert) attempting to woo the moon.
The plot includes some mischief from Pugsley and Fester calling on the Addams Family Ancestors (Devon Bolton, Emmett Cummings, Myla Dougherty, Mary Gennari, Tyler Gulluscio, Henry Lowell-Liszanckie, Joseph Lupo, Andrea Napoles, Zebulun Mundy, Lily Page, Amelia Reiter, Riley Renault, Bella Springer, Madison Springer, Margaret Schultheis, Lydia Shepherd and Emma Theodoru) to help carry out the lunatic love scheme.
The cast had an extended circle of advisers helping polish their performances. Laura Dickerson was the choreographer; Susan Cincotta, the drama coach; and Libby Lyszanckie, a school alumna who appeared in past shows, acted as the show’s vocal coach.
Mr. Kaasik, Paul Mobius and Peter Waldner created sets and props and Audrey Wood seamlessly lead a seven-member stage crew.